What inspires you? My inspirations change constantly according to whatever is appropriate to the commission I am currently working on. However, I would say that music is very inspirational when it comes to creating a mood for work: P.J. Harvey, Lamb and Patti Smith are always good to work to. The artworks of Aubrey Beardsley, Leonora Carrington and Dupas, or the beautiful illustrations of Benitot, Erte and Antonio Lopez, are very inspirational. I am lucky enough to have very creative friends who are kind enough to model for me. To work with them on projects is always completely inspiring and a real pleasure.
Are you interested in fashion?
I am very interested in fashion design. I studied fashion at Middlesex University and, although it was always quite obvious that fashion illustration was my main interest, I would have been perfectly happy to have followed a career in fashion design. Fashion is still the main focus of my illustration work, although it is not confined to fashion by any means. Great fashion designers with real intuition and true creativity are incredible to work with. They are such a catalyst for ambitious creative work.
Describe your work. My work is very narrative, whether the logic of it is always apparent or not. My portfolio has a broad range of styles in it. I have never felt it necessary to confine myself to a single style, when I enjoy working in so many different ways.
Which media and techniques do you use? I use gouache, pencil, airbrush, collage and ink. I resolutely do not use the computer to do my work. Although there is some incredible computer-based work around, I really need to physically draw a pencil line, or paint a brushstroke, to make those dynamics. I much prefer to see the physical creation of artwork, even if it means there are mistakes, rather than something that may appear perfect but is homogeneous. I like to be able to work with spontaneity.
What, for you, makes a successful fashion illustration? Something truly reflective of the illustrator's personality, inspired by the creativity of a designer's work, without losing the essence of either.
What artistic training have you undertaken?
BTEC National Diploma in General Art and Design at Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design, and BA Hons in Fashion at Middlesex University.
If you could give one piece of advice to a student, what would it be?
A good career is made from luck and opportunity, as much as it is from talent. Make your illustrations accessible to those who can appreciate, support and use your work.
Describe yourself and your greatest achievement.
I am fortunate enough to have made a successful career from something I greatly enjoy doing.
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